Ireland to follow New Zealand in blackouts against disconnections

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icon Blacking out New Zealand (might have) worked, but now Ireland has decided to follow in their footsteps, with avatars on Facebook and Twitter will go black to oppose the new rules sought by the major record labels.

The protests come after the IRMA (Irish Recorded Music Association) sued the largest ISP in Ireland, Eircom, and then dismissed it after Eircom agreed to disconnect P2P users that have been identified by them. The association has also said that the ISPs should block access to websites like The Pirate Bay.

It sent a letter to the other ISPs to follow the same terms as Eircom, or has threatened them with legal action against ISPs that do not comply, with a week to respond to them.

“In the event of a positive response to this letter, it is proposed to make practical arrangements with (ISP name) of a like nature to those made with Eircom,” it reads. “In event of a negative response to this letter, section 40(4) of the (Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000) will be invoked against (ISP name) and proceedings instituted).

This is the section that they are referring to:

Without prejudice to subsection (3), where a person who provides facilities referred to in that subsection is notified by the owner of the copyright in the work concerned that those facilities are being used to infringe the copyright in that work and that person fails to remove that infringing material as soon as practicable thereafter that person shall also be liable for the infringement.

(Editor’s Note: This is subsection 3:
Subject to subsection (4), the provision of facilities for enabling the making available to the public of copies of a work shall not of itself constitute an act of making available to the public of copies of the work.)

It basically means that any copyright owner who is concerned that facilities provided by someone is being used to infringe and that person fails to remove the material will be liable for infringement.

However, while it may be the first to do so in Europe, it may be the only one – since the European Parliament (which I should also note that doesn’t have any jurisdiction over laws of its member’s countries, unless they say so) has been distressed over the use of such tactics.

While France and New Zealand have made these options, it was done under industry consolations. However, Ireland’s plan is more like a bully, where you should please them or else you will be beaten up (and that would be a lawsuit).